Covenant v Contract
We are familiar, in this day and age, with contracts.
Contracts are agreements by which we outline the terms of our separation. i.e. if you don't uphold your side of the deal, I will be free to part ways. Don't pay me, I'm gone. Don't do the work, you ain't getting paid.
Covenants are different.
To be in covenant with someone is to say "regardless of whether you live up to your end of the deal or not, I will not cut myself off from you".
This is a scary thing. This takes trust. This takes people at their word when we know they are (just like us) full of snakes. Betrayers occupied the lowest levels of Hell as according to Dante's Inferno.
But, if we cannot live with trust, life can be hell.
Life can be unsteady.
Life can be cynical and sceptical and ugly.
The opportunity, therefore, is to make covenants with people, with our eyes wide open. I am going to assume that in the span of our time together, you will let me down and I will let you down.
But I will not bail.
I will not run away.
I will not "flush that relationship down the dunny".
I am in this for the long haul, and no matter how many snakes you throw at me, I am committed to helping you slay those snakes. And I am going to spend more time focussing on the log in my own eye, than the speck in yours.
I will do my best to slay my own snakes, and rebuke my own demons, and overcome my own shortcomings and sins, so that you do not have to.
This is my commitment to you.
And, I believe, this is love.
The love that we can only share because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)